Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

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I wanted to get on today and wish everyone the very Merriest of Christmas to ya'll. May your Christmas and every day throughout the New Year be blessed with God's love and joy for you and your families. 

Be safe and savor every moment of being with your families.  I know we have been extremely thankful for the precious time we've been given with our families and will continue to be.

Blessings and good wishes to all of you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cleaning tip-bathroom


A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page
, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.
Today let's address the cleaning of the one room we all hate to tackle...the bathroom!  Ewww!  I'd like to trade this job with that of the ol' man...taking out the trash.  LOL  Well, here are a few tips that I hope makes this nasty job a wee bit easier.

Bathroom Cleaning

Bathrooms can be a source for all sorts of cleaning problems. Keeping mildew under control in the bathroom can be a challenge. Try spraying a mixture of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% water on the walls every six months to prevent mildew. Cut the seam off of the bottom of the plastic shower curtain to keep mold from growing there. Also, put a couple cups of bleach in the back of the toilet every few weeks to help control germs. Be careful that children and pets don't come into contact with this water.

Bathroom Odors

Bathroom odors can be controlled by putting cotton balls filled with vanilla extract in bowls or under the sink. Also put baking soda in the bottom of the trash cans to absorb odors.

Use car wax on the clean shower walls everysix months or so to prevent soap scum from sticking. (Be sure NOT to get any of it on the shower floor!!!)  Vinegar works well on soap scum, especially hot vinegar. Try heating up vinegar in the microwave, clean the microwave and take the vinegar to the bathroom to clean the soap scum from the shower curtain and walls.


This was my daily OM from yesterday.  I thought it appropriate to post today since most of us will be going here or there to get together with family or friends at some point this week. 

December 18, 2006
The Gift of Sincerity

Holiday Obligations

During the holiday season it is easy to feel scattered and overwhelmed. We may feel obligated to send cards, buy gifts, bake sweets, host parties, or give hostess gifts. But there is no need to feel any obligation when we commit to being our best selves as fully and sincerely as we can. Because then we are already giving the best and most precious gift we have to offer: our presence.

At any gathering, we each bring our own unique light to the party. When we think back on pleasant memories of events in our own past, we recall the fun and love that was shared, or the moments that touched us far more than anything else. A sense of obligation rarely brings out the joy within or moves us in any meaningful way. So as we walk through the holiday season, let’s choose to only give what we can give joyfully, lovingly, and sincerely—whether the gift is a smile, a compliment, a handmade card, or friendship. Once out from under the ‘should’s, we will be free to share the love and kindness we sincerely feel with those who we truly value—from the mailman to our nearest and dearest.

Each gift we give and card we send carries the energy of our intention. If we are not giving from a true desire to share, it’s loss of time and energy that could be better spent by sharing life’s best gifts: love and joy. When we live each moment to the best of our abilities, then every second becomes a gift shared with the universe. Our positive choices have a ripple effect, touching those near and far, friends and strangers. In that way, sharing the light of our beautiful and unique presence becomes the best present we could possibly give, to ourselves and everyone else.


That's about all for this morning.  I am a bit busy this week but will try to keep up with my journal posts.  Now I am off to try to get around and get some Christmas shopping done today.  I am probably only about half done, if that.  Oh goodness!  I have so much to do!  LOL 

Many hugs!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chicken and pork recipes

Here are a few recipes for you.  They sound kind of yummy.

Chicken Marsala
Serves: 4
Serving Size: 1 chicken breast with 1/3 cup sauce
Tomato juice, lemons, and mushrooms flavor this chicken recipe the lower salt and lower fat way.


1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
4 chicken breasts, boned, skinless (5 oz.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock, skim fat from top
1/2 lemon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


1. Mix together pepper, salt, and flour. Coat chicken with seasoned flour.
2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Place chicken breasts in skillet and brown on both sides. Then remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
3. To the skillet, add tomato juice and stir until heated. Add juice, stock, and mushrooms. Stir to toss, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce is partially reduced.
4. Return browned chicken breasts to skillet. Spoon sauce over the chicken.
5. Cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until chicken is done.
6. Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley.


Calories: 232.5
Fat: 5.6 g
Carbohydrates: 35.5 g
Protein: 8.2 g

Apple and Pork Stir-fry with Ginger

Serves: 4
Serving Size: 2 oz. cooked pork per serving
Featured in the revised edition of The New American Plate. Printed with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research.


2 Tbsp. peach jam, preferably fruit sweetened
2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp. dark toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger root
1/2 pound (8 ounces) pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1-1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 firm apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. In small bowl, combine jam, soy sauce, water and cornstarch. Set aside.
2. In large non-stick skillet, heat sesame oil over medium high heat. Add pork and ginger and stir-fry until pork is browned and just cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Transfer pork and ginger to bowl with slotted spoon. Add canola oil to skillet. Stir-fry peppers, water chestnuts, and apples until peppers are crisp tender, about 3 minutes.
4. Add pork back to skillet along with scallions. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Add jam mixture. Continue to stir-fry 30 seconds to one minute, or until sauce thickens. Season to taste with black pepper.


Calories: 296.8
Fat: 7.5 g
Carbohydrates: 41.2 g
Protein: 18.6 g

Have a good day!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I thought I would share this email from the folks at Spark People.  I love creating homemade Christmas gifts.  Not only is it much gentler to my budget (most of the time), but it shows that I took the time and effort to do something special for that person. 
December 15, 2006
Expressions of the Heart

Creating Meaningful Homemade Gifts

The gifts we craft with our own hands are often the most significant because the love that drove us to create is infused in the products of our creation. And the recipients of these homemade offerings receive a token of our willingness to invest ourselves in their joy. Allow these ideas to inspire you:

1. When you craft a beautifully decorated prayer box (or jar) for loved ones, you give them the gift of spiritual awareness. As you share this gift, explain that it should serve as a receptacle for their hopes, dreams, and loves—as well as worries—and thus a reminder of who they were, are, and will someday be.

2. If you love journaling, share your writing joy with family and friends by giving each a unique, handmade personal journal. A simple spiral notebook dressed up with paper, fabric, photographs, or other embellishments will give your loved ones a special place to record their private thoughts.

3. Erase the distance between yourself and your far away loved ones by presenting each with a photo journal documenting how your life has changed in the past year. Or introduce them to your locale with a homemade guidebook that highlights everything you love about your town or city.

4. When you sew medicine bags for the people you care about, you can rest assured your gift will always be close to their hearts. A small pouch can be filled with many meditative or symbolic items, such as quartz crystals, sage, or magical objects.

5. A progressive photo album, wherein pictures tell the story of your relationships from the past up to the present, can be a simple yet poignant reminder of the many wonderful experiences you and your loved ones have shared over the years.

6. Give the gift of serenity with a guided meditation you create and record to CD or tape. Your loved ones will take pleasure in being led through tranquil landscapes by the soothing sound of your voice.

7. Hand-crafted ornaments that can be hung on trees, in windows, and on walls afford you an opportunity to surround the important people in your life with beauty. Whether you prefer to work with clay, crystals, fabric, baked dough, or natural objects, your gift can serve as a calming focal point in your loved ones’ homes.

Whether you choose to give a gift or simply share your friendship and love, remember that it is the intention behind the thought that is most important.


The following are some homemade gift recipes taken from my Web page, JillMarie's Stuff.  Real creative name, huh?  LOL  I just couldn't think of anything at the time that would desribe everything on there. 

Anyway, I hope you find something you like here.  These are all easy enough for the kids to do with a little help from you.  I love how excited and proud kids are about making and giving their own gifts. 

Now, remember that recipe I posted recently about the bakers clay dough that you bake?  Take a clean old jar with a metal lid.  Let the kids make something cute out of the bakers clay to cover the lid and bake it.  While it's baking have them mix up some coffee mix or something that can go into the jar.  What a great way to spend some great quality time with your children.

Spiced Mocha Mix

2 cups sweetened cocoa mix
1/3 cup instant coffee crystals
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine cocoa mix, coffee, and cinnamon.  Stir thoroughly.  Store in airtight containers.  Makes 2 1/4 cups mix.

Directions to pack with mix:  For one serving, combine 3 Tablesppons mix with 2/3 cup boining water in a cup.

Hot Tea Mix

1- 9 oz jar orange flavor breakfast drink powder (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup iced tea mix with lemon and sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Store in airtight containers.  Makes 2 cups mix.

Directions to pack with mix:  For one serving, combine 2 tablesppons mix with 1 cup boiling water in a cup.

Hot Choco Coffee Mix

2/3 cup Granulated sugar
1/3 cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Instatnt coffee granules

Measure sugar into small bowl.  Sift cocoa, cinnamon and coffee granules into sugar.  Stir.  Store in plastic bag or jar with tight fitting lid.  Makes about 1 cup mix.

Directions to include:  Heat 1 cup milk in large mug in microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until very hot.  Add 1 1/2 Tbsp. mix.  Stir.  Serves 1.

Trail Mix

Combine 1 Cup each of the following in large roasting pan:
Chopped dried apricots
Golden raisins
Dark raisins
Chopped dried pineapple
Chopped dried pears
Dried banana slices
Pecan halves
Broken cashews

Melt 1/4 cup magarine in small saucepan. Add 1 tsp. seasoned salt. Stir. Drizzle over the fruit mixture. Stir to coat well.

Sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt. Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Makes 9 1/2 cups.

For added flavor, add 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce or 2 tsp. barbecue sauce or 2 tsp. teriyaki sauce to melted margarine.

Bath Salts

Makes 3 cups of bath salts.

You will need:
Large glass or metal mixing bowl 2 cups Epsom's salts 1 cup Sea salt, rock salt or coarse salt Food coloring 1/4 teaspoon Glycerin Essential oil for fragrance such as vanilla, citrus or peppermint, optional Clean, dry jars with cork stoppers or metal screw-on lid

How To Make It

Try and do this on a day with low humidity, the salt will absorb moisture from the air.

1.Combine salts in bowl and mix well. Add a couple drops of food coloring and mix well.
2.Add glycerin and essential oil (4 or 5 drops) and mix well.
3.Spoon salts into the jars and close them.
4.Make a gift tag with the scent (if you used one) and suggesting using 1/3 to 1/2 cup in the bath.


Rylie and I are off to visit Santa today.  Ray is out of town, so Samantha is going with us.  I wonder if I can get Sammi to sit on Santa's lap with Santa so I can get a picture of the two of them.

I hope you found something useful by visiting me today. 
Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Better late than never...

Just ten days until Christmas!  Here is the Home Remedy I should have posted yesterday and a couple recipes.  Things are soooo busy around here.  Thank goodness I now have a car.  YEA!
Yep, we went to the city of Toledos police vehicle auction about a week or two ago.  I got a 1995 Black Bonneville.  It was an awesome deal.  Some of the cars down there were a complete mess, but my "baby B" looks really good and, after some work, runs really great.  There are a few scratches and the front bumper is a bit messed up, but nothing that a wee bit of black paint won't fix. 
The interior is tan and looks really good, especially considering the age of the car.   The are a few small tears or wee holes, but that isn't anything that I can't fix.  It is not too big, but still a great sized family car. 
These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks.


  • A daily serving of fresh fish or fish oil capsules helps to give relief of arthritis and other joint pains.
  • 3-4 walnuts eaten daily, on an empty stomach, will help.
  • Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.
  • WD-40 ~ Spray and rub in (I don't know about that one, sounds a little weird to me)

Here are some additional home remedies I've found:

  • Raw potato juice is of great value in the arthritis home remedy treatment. Fresh juice can be extracted from raw potatoes. Drink it empty stomach everyday in the morning.
  • Mix 1 cup of any green vegetable juice with equal proportions of carrots, celery and red beet juices.
  • Another great home remedy for arthritis involves the consumption of 1 cup of fresh pineapple juice, as it helps in minimizing the swelling and inflammation in arthritis.
  • In a quarter cup of water, soak a tsp of black sesame seeds and keep it overnight. The next morning consume the water along with the seeds.
Here is another recipe.  This one has been sitting in my mail box and I can't remember if I've already posted it or not.  I can be such a blonde sometimes.
Chili Popcorn
Source: Spark People
Serves: 4
Popcorn makes a great snack, but can be a little ordinary. Chili, garlic, and cumin give this popcorn a kick!
1 quart popcorn, popped
1/2 tablespoon margarine, melted
1-1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash garlic powder
1. Mix hot popcorn and margarine.
2. Mix seasonings thoroughly.
3. Sprinkle over popcorn.
4. Mix well.
This is a yummy cookie recipe from The Food Network.  I especially like it because you can make the un-baked cookies up to a month before and freeze it until you want to bake them. 
Golden Rugalach
From Food Network Kitchens
Difficulty: Easy
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces and chilled
8 ounces cream cheese, cut in chunks and chilled
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt

3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 cup apricot preserves
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Egg Wash:
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar

For the dough: Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in food processor until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse sand with some pea-sized pieces of butter, about 20 times. Add the cream cheese and sour cream, and pulse until it comes together in a rough dough (with some uneven pebble-sized pieces). Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured work surface, and divide into 4 equal portions. Pat each portion into a flat square and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze dough for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the nuts in a clean food processor. Add the preserves, raisins and salt; puree to make a very smooth paste.

Roll a portion of dough into a 6 by 14-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. (Don't worry about slightly rough edges; these will be rolled inside of the rugalach.) Spread 1/4 of the filling over the surface with a small spatula. Starting with a long side, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder ending with the seam on the bottom. Press the top slightly to flatten; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for another 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
(The cylinders can be frozen for up to a month.)

Meanwhile, evenly position the racks in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Slice the cylinders into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and place rugalach seam-side down on the prepared pans. Whisk the egg yolks together and brush this glaze over the top of the rugalach. Sprinkle with sugar and bake until pale golden and crispy on top, about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheet. Carefully transfer rugalach to a rack to cool. Serve.

Store rugalach in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
Here is an idea from Homemade Simple on ways to recycle your old Christmas cards.  This is good for me because I have cards from 6 or 7 years ago.  I just hate to throw things like that away.  Okay, okay...when it comes to some things I am a wee bit of a pack rat, lol.  But some of those cards are just so pretty and I hate to just throw them away.  So it is probably time to recycle.
Post-Holiday Projects Post-Holiday Projects

After the holidays have passed, keep your favorite cards and recycle them into one of these easy crafts.
  • Cut off the front of the cards and re-use them as next year’s gift tags.
  • Create a seasonal collage. Arrange the fronts of your favorite cards and glue onto a piece of heavy cardstock or foamcore. Hang or place on a mantle or shelf.
  • Make ornaments. Detach the fronts of cards and trim the edges with lace or ribbon. Punch a hole in the top and hang on a tree with yarn or ribbon.
  • Design placemats or coasters with the cards. Cover the cards with clear, self-adhesive shelf paper on the front and back. Trim with scissors, leaving about 1/4” on each sealed edge.
  • Tear off the front of cards and send them as postcards for the next holiday season or just for fun … say, in July or August. Just be sure not to send your friend her own card back.
Have a great day! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A few holiday recipes

Here are a few holiday recipes I thought some of you might enjoy.

Scented cinnamon ornaments

Yield: 1 servings 4 ounce Cinnamon
1 Tb Cloves
1 Tb Nutmeg
¾ cup Applesauce
2 Tb White glue

In medium bowl, combine cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add applesauce and glue; stir to combine. Work mixture with hands 2 to 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Divide into 4 portions. On floured surface, roll each portion to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough with floured cookie cutters of desired shapes. Using straw or toothpick, make a small hole in the top of the ornament. Place cutouts on wire racks and allow to dry at room temperature for several days or dry them in a dehydrator. Thread ribbon through hole in ornament. DO NOT EAT. Makes about 32 (2 inch) ornaments.

You may find that the consistency of your "dough" just doesn't seem right.  I added more spice to mine to make it work.  Actually I didn't have enough glue, so I just kind of added this and that until it seemed right.  You can also wrap it in saran wrap and put it in the fridge before you roll it out.  Make sure you keep it at least 1/4" thick when rolling out or your ornaments may be too thin and fragile.  Mine were probably a wee bit thicker and I liked them like that, they were nice and chucky.

I made a bunch of these in the shape of gingerbread men.  I put some holes on the tops of their heads to use them to hang on the tree.  Then on the others I put a hole on each of their hands so I could string them on a twine garland with dried apples and what-not.  The ones that I am using for a garland I am going to cut felt to fit and glue on the backs so that when I hang it they won't cause any discoloration of the wall.

I put mine in a 200 degree oven and let them dry in there for a few hours.  The house smelled wonderful!  What a great project to do with children.  Speaking of which, I am not putting mine on the tree this year...Rylie thinks these are actual cookies...ewww!  I also had to chase Ray away from them when he got home.  LOL


When David, Sammi and Christopher were small I made a batch of this up and we made a bunch of ornaments.  I had so much fun with the kids doing this.  I think they still remember it too and that was at least 10 years ago.

Bakers Clay Dough  

This dough is intended for craft projects.  Please do NOT eat it.  

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 C salt
1 C water  

In large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and water.  Mix thoroughly with spoon till all the flour is moistened.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead till smooth, about 10 minutes.   Shape into a ball; return to bowl.  Keep covered with a damp cloth or paper towel till ready to use. 

Before beginning project, check the consistency of dough.  If the dough is too sticky, add a small amount of additional flour.  If dough is too stiff, knead in several teaspoons additional water.   

Roll dough on floured surface 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place ornaments on lightly greased cookie sheets.  Make hole in top of ornaments for hangers.  Brush ornaments with 1 beaten egg.  Bake at 325 degrees till hard, 25-30 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.  Makes about 2 dozen.  

You have to watch so they don't get too brown if your going to decorate them.  After we made our ornaments I let the kids decorate them with acrylic crafters paint and glitter.  When the paint dried I sprayed them with a fast drying glossy clear coat.

*Word of warning for those with pets.  I made these ornaments to give away one year and someone told me that her dog just loved the ornament I gave her.  So much so, that he ate the whole thing.  Although it is all natural, so perhaps it's also a good recipe for doggie biscuits too.

This is a great recipe to keep on hand for projects with the kids year round.  They can also roll out long strips and make baskets or whatever their imagination wants.  For bigger, bulkier items you may need to let it sit in the oven longer. 

To make a basket, have them roll, or cut (plastic knife) out a bunch of strips.  Then "weave" them over an oven safe bowl.  Leave them on the bowl and put in the oven.  Your kids will be thrilled if you use their basket to serve bread at the dinner table. 

They could even make matching napkin ring holders, or name plates for the table and decorate it all for the holidays.  Or give them an old glass vase that you don't use anymore and let them put the dough over that and decorate it.  I'm not sure how well the glass will take to being in the oven.  I would turn the heat down and leave it in longer.  I may need to look that information up.  But imagine how thrilled your little one would be to see you use that vase for your holiday center piece?  They will feel so proud when you tell all your guests that they made that.  What a way to bolster their self-esteem.


Ray loves to have Eggnog during the holidays.  However, making a drink with raw eggs kind of freaks me out.  Here is a recipe I found for making eggnog that I am comfortable with.  I hope you enjoy it!

Eggless Eggnog

8 cups milk
One 3 oz package of French Vanilla Instant pudding
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix the pudding with 1 cup of the milk. When pudding is formed, add in the remaining ingredients and mix very well. Chill.


I hope you found something useful here today.  If you try out any of the projects, drop me a line and let me know how it went.  Or better yet send me a picture of what you and the kids made so I can share itwith everyone.

Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cleaning tip and a request to please to send a Christmas Card


A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page
, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.
Here is a good one with the upcoming holidays.  It's time to clean up that...

Tarnished Silverware

For tarnished silverware, heat 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Put silverware on a sheet of aluminum foil in a pan with the silverware making contact on the foil. The combination of metal and baking soda will cause the tarnish to disappear.


I got this in the email and wanted to share it with everyone.  While this organization is so busy "protecting" other peoples rights not to be "violated" by my belief in CHRIST, it sometimes seems as though they are taking away my right to display or share my belief in CHRIST.  What do you want to bet that one day they will try to make it illegal to wear a crucifix because it somehow offends non-believers and impedes on their rights?  That is just how ridiculous some of their court cases are.

This is coming early so that you can get ready to include an important address to your list. Read on........
What a GREAT idea!

Fun with the ACLU....... Want to have some fun this CHRISTMAS? When you
mail out your Christmas cards this year, send the ACLU a CHRISTMAS CARD.

The American Civil Liberties Union is working so very hard to get rid of
the CHRISTMAS part of this holiday as it offends other's civil liberty.
We should all send them a nice, CHRISTIAN, card to brighten up their
dark, sad, little world.

Make sure it says "Merry Christmas" on it.

Here's the address, just don't be rude or crude. (It's Not the Christian
Way , you know!)

125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Two tons of Christmas cards would freeze their operations because they
wouldn't know if any were regular mail containing contributions. So
spend 39 cents and tell the ACLU to leave Christmas alone.
Also tell them that there is no such thing as a "
Holiday Tree". . . . It's a Christmas Tree even in the fields!!

Good Idea!!!!!!!! And, be sure and print, "IN GOD WE TRUST" ON THE

Really, lets keep it nice and civil.  I personally am going to close with "God bless you and yours throughout the new year!  In Christ's Love, Jill Marie."


I should have a fairly easy day today.  I got my blood work done, finally, after running all over town trying to find a lab that would accept my Care Net card.  I did 4 loads of laundry, cleaned Rylie Jo's bedroom carpet.  It seems she spilled milk on her floor at some point this past weekend...eww!  Then I cleaned the front bathroom, another "eww" job, lol. 

Maybe Rylie and I will make some more Christmas cookies.  I bought some red and green M&M's to make cookies, so maybe today we will do those.  Rylie loves to help me in the kitchen.  I can't wait, though, until Santa brings Ry her own pots, pans and kitchen utensils.  Let's just hope he is able to get a little kitchen into that big red bag of his. 

David, my oldest son...yikes!  he turns 21 in a mere 16 days!  Anyway, David was talking about getting her a bike.  Which would be very cool because when we talk to Rylie about Santa coming and what does she want...she always says "biiiiiike".  (the K is barely audible when she says it)  Unfortunately, this year Santa probably can't bring both a little kitchen and a bike. 


Have a good day.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A stew recipe

 I need to get on here, post this and then go.  I've got to go get my blood work done, I've been putting it off and putting it off.  I even got a letter from the doctors office last week telling me they needed me to get it done.  And I thought they didn't care, lol.  I was going to do it when I went to get my prescriptions, but...well, there is not good excuse.  I just didn't do it.  So, here is the recipe.  I'm off to get Rylie around and then go get the blood drawn.  Have a good one! 
Kielbasa Stew
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
3 cups peeled, cubed potato
1-1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 pound cooked kielbasa, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth  
1. In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine cabbage, potato, and carrots. Top with kielbasa. Sprinkle basil, thyme, and pepper over kielbasa. Pour chicken broth over all.

2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

These are home health remedies that have been emailed to me or that I found on the Internet.  I have not tried them all and do NOT guarantee the effectiveness of them.  If you try one and it works, or if you have one that works for you, please email me.  Thanks.
  • Avoid drinking tea (regular, not herbal varieties) and coffee immediately after meals, as the tannin present in these interferes in the absorption of iron from the food.
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea mixed with 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses each day. This provides 80% of the iron needed in one day.
  • Foods high in iron: lean beef, lean pork, skinned poultry, shellfish, fish, liver, organ meats, egg yolks, pinto, kidney, lima, navy, chick peas, black-eyed peas, lentils, split peas, green peas, spinach, kale, collards, beet greens, chard, broccoli, raisins, prunes, figs, dates, dried peaches, dried apricots, nuts, peanut butter, whole grain breads.
  • Your body absorbs iron from meats easier than fruits and vegetables. To aid in the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables, eat them with a good source of vitamin C.
This is an email message from Spark People.  I think, by now, most of us have heard this type of message before, but every now and again we need to be reminded of it.
Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else.  - Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights activist
Are you a good friend to yourself?

If you met yourself, would you want to stick around and talk? Are you the kind of person others can be proud of? Hopefully you are, because that's who will be with you for your entire life. Your values and beliefs create a pretty good picture of what you want to see in the mirror. To be proud of yourself, do everything you can to make real life look like that vision. Find people that have the qualities you want and learn from them. Becoming a person you like gives you the confidence that you're someone worth being friends with. There's also a flip side to the friendship coin- you also need to cut yourself as much slack as you do your friends. You have friends because you see the good in them, not the flaws. You like them the way they are, warts and all. You enjoy their company and root for them to be happy and do their best. Look at yourself the same way. To be a good friend to yourself, accept your blemishes, while still pushing yourself to reach your full potential. Don't harp on your weaknesses. Take another look in the mirror and be kinder this time.
I especially like the part where it says to cut yourself as much slack as you do your friends.  That is so true, for me anyway.  I know that I tend to cut everyone around me a mile of slack, yet I tend to think that I can't do anything right.  Even when I think that I did something pretty well, I always tend to compare myself to others or think that there was something I could have done better.
I don't know why I am that way.  Perhaps there is something to all that astrological stuff and it's just because I am a Capricorn, lol.  To answer the question that probably comes to mind when I reveal that I am a Capricorn...yes, I tend to make decisions based on logic, very stubborn and anal retentive. 
Well, I guess I'm not always logical.  More like I either am completely logical about a situation or my heart takes over and I am completely ruled by my emotions.  When it comes to that I realize that it would be better to be more in the  middle of the road.  LOL, see?  I just pointed out another way I could be better! 
What is good about being logical?  It helps me make fact based decisions.  Letting my heart rule?  It shows me that I am not completely cold and have fierce emotions.  Stubborn?  It takes me a while to get there, but when I get to that point I am able to quit letting people walk all over me (sometimes).  Anal retentive?  LOL!  Ray would say it sucks living with someone like that.  Well, the clean house and warm meals he probably appreciates, but the not forgetting (arguments, anniversaries etc) he probably doesn't care much for. 
I also tend to have a particular way I want things done.  Someone could do something, and it could be fine, but if it isn't the way I do it...I will wait till they leave and then go back and re-do it.  Ask Ray about the folding and placement of a lap blanket that was on my couch when we first started dating.  LOL  He loves to tell how he would fold that blanket up and put it on the couch at the end of the night.  Then when he would come over after work, he always noticed it was re-folded and put on the back of the couch a certain way.
Now, to dollar store psycho-analyze myself...I would say that this is a form of maintaining control to some degree.  There is so little that I have control over, except for the house cleaning.  So I stay in control of what I can by making sure things are the way I want them to be.  The same for my inexplicable need to re-arrange the furniture almost every time I run the vacuum cleaner.  Although that seems to happen more when I feel...well, like I have no control over the things happening. 
Yep, it is all about control for me.  Don't get the wrong idea.  I'm  not saying that I am a control freak.  As a matter of fact, it is because I feel so out of, that doesn't sound right.  Because I feel like I have so little control, that I need to be in complete control of the things that I can. 
LOL, well...I think that is enough self-therapy for me today.  I tell you, every time I put one of these little email self help things in here, I just go off in some direction or other, don't I?  Nothing quite like revealing your naked soul for the whole world to see.
Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006


Well, I thought I had picked a picture of Rylie to use for Christmas cards.  However, tonight I decided that since the tree was all set up I should dress Rylie up and take some more pictures.  Out of 19 pictures in 3 of them I got either the side or back of her head, in 5 of them she had her tongue sticking out, 3 of them were blurry, 3-4 four of them just didn't look right.  Lots of red eye too.  There were these 3 that I really like.  Let me know what you think. 

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I think this one is cute, although her left eye looks a little funny since her head is tilted to the side.

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Daddy like this one.  I think her smile is pretty here.  However, last night daddy let her play with my red paint pen (who knows why men do anything that they do) and you can see all the paint on her hand.  I could crop it more, but I like her holding the present.

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This is my favorite.  I love the big, happy smile on her face.  It looks just like can just see the naughty behind those big baby blues, trying so hard to look like a good girl, lol.

Well, that is the baby.  Isn't she just precious?  I can't wait until we get all 6 kids in the house together at one time.  I really want to get a picture of them all together.

Have a good night!

Cleaning tip and a cool site to visit

A cleaning tip, or two, that you may find useful.  As I say on my Web page, these are tips that have been emailed to me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I have not tried all of them and do NOT guarantee their effectiveness.  If you do try one and it works, or if you have another one that works for you, please let me know.
Stuck on Food

For food stuck on pots and pans, put a dryer sheet in the pan and leave overnight. In the morning the food will slide right out. The fabric softener will soften the food overnight.


I found this site while I was wandering around the internet this morning.  You can go here and print out these cute little recipe cards, shopping lists and gift tags.  They aren't just for Christmas, there are designs that can be used all year long.  The designs are real cute.  The Christmas tags are near the bottom of the page.   Original Country Clipart by Lisa


I almost forgot, I also found this great site: Youth Online Club.  IT's really cool for those of us stay at home moms who need some ideas for games for kids.


Have a great day!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Fudge: Old-fashioned, 3-step and diet/diabetic

It is recipe day, so how about a few variations of fudge recipes?  I hope you find one you like.



2 cups sugar
3/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1 teaspoon light-colored corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


1. Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.
2. Butter the sides of a 2-quart heavy saucepan. In saucepan combine sugar, half-and-half, chocolate, corn syrup, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate , stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 236 degree F, soft-ball stage (20 to 25 minutes.) (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil).
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 110 degree F (50 to 60 minutes).
4. Remove thermometer from saucepan. Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken. If desired, add nuts. Continue beating until the fudge just starts to lose its gloss (6 to 8 minutes total).
5. Immediately spread fudge evenly in the prepared pan. Score into squares (or other shapes) while warm. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut fudge. Store tightly covered up to 1 week. Makes about 1-1/4 pounds (32 pieces).


 3 Step Microwave Fudge


2 cups chocolate chips
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Mix chocolate chips with milk on 50% power 3 to 5 minutes, stirring once.
2. Stir in nuts and vanilla.
3. Put into a 8 x 8 greased baking pan. Cool and cut into squares.
Yield: 2 lbs


Diabetic Chocolate Fudge Recipe

14+1/2 ounces (or 435ml) evaporated milk
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup butter OR margarine OR oleo OR olive oil
liquid sweetener (equal to 1/2 cup sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2+1/2 cups wholemeal biscuit crumbs (Graham crackers etc)
1/4 cup nuts

In a medium saucepan, mix together milk & cocoa.
Add in butter, sweetener & salt.
Bring mixture to the boil, then remove from heat.
Stir in all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT 1/4 cup wholemeal biscuit crumbs.
Allow mixture to cool (approximately 15 minutes).
Divide the mixture into 30 and roll each into a ball.
Roll each ball in remaining biscuit crumbs.
Chill, serve & enjoy!


Sugar Free Fudge

There are a lot of people who want sugar free fudge, and this is an easy fudge recipe! It's a great diabetic fudge.

1 envelope gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 square unsweetened chocolate
3/4 teaspoon liquid sweetener
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped nuts

1. Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.
2. In saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with sweetener. Slowly add evaporated milk and other 1/4 cup of water.
3. Add gelatin to chocolate mixture.
4. Stir until dissolved, then remove from heat.
5. Let cool. When mixture begins to thicken, add nuts.
6. Put in a greased 8 x 8 pan. Cool and cut into squares.

I hope you found one of these recipes useful.  Have a great day!