Monday, March 19, 2007


                     Image Hosted by

At this time I have a few too many things going on to even try to keep up with my regular entries.  So I've decided that it would be best for me to take a brief hiatus. 

I will try to catch y'all up on things a bit first.  I'll start with the one thing that has been first and foremost on our minds here, the health of Ray's father.  He had open heart surgery last Wednesday.  There have been a few scares and emergency trips back to the operating room.  However, at this time (thank God) he is stable but still in critical condition in the ICU. 
We have been quite worried and his health has been our number one concern the past few weeks.  Ray has taken quite a bit of time off work and is going back on Monday.  I don't know that we could afford for him to be off work any longer, although  we would do whatever we needed to.  We pray that his dad will continue to improve and will recover soon.  He is quite a fighter we are thankful for that and for God's good grace.
Several other things have been going on that have had my mind and heart feeling a bit twisted and torn.  As if I'm not already running on low, now I'm feeling totally drained.  No wonder I've been tired and taking a nap almost everyday.  My emotions are running amok and I feel that it would be best for me to take leave of here for a short time and re-charge my batteries. 
Actually, I don't know that it will really help, but I do know that I'm not giving this journal the attention that I usually do.  I'm just going to continue trying to get through each day with a few less tears and hope for the best.  I know that this is my life...a continual roller coaster of drama and emotions running high and low.  These days I feel as though I'm being torn in pieces.  I just need to take a deep breath and hold on for a while.
Sound a little crazy?  It is.  Besides what is going on with Ray's father, there are at least 3 other major things going on in this lil' life right now.  Things that are causing me a wee bit of stress.  I will try to get back to this journal as soon as possible.  However, for the time being other things have to take precedence.  I don't know how I am going to work through this.  I'll just go day by day, and prayer by prayer. 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see y'all soon.
Jill Marie

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cleaning tip: cloudy glasses

Good morning!  It is Tuesday and time for another cleaning tip. 


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.
Cloudy Drinking Glasses: Soak them for an hour or longer in slightly warm white vinegar. Then, use a nylon-net or plastic dish scrubber to remove film. Still there? The damage must be etching (tiny scratches that occur in the dishwasher) and is permanent, sorry to say. To avoid this, hand-wash your best glasses.
The following is my horoscope today, January 5th: Capricorn

You tend to be more aware of your own feelings when the Moon is back in your sign, but this can be a mixed blessing. You might be rather uncomfortable in your own skin, as your moods change so fast that you cannot figure out how you feel. You prefer to have one emotion and deal with it, instead of having to manage your instability. Keep in mind that this dilemma is what makes you human.


My mom recently sent me a Betty Crocker page on how to make a Bunny Cake for Easter.  It's a real cute idea, go check it out if you get a chance.  While I was there I stated clicking on other recipe ideas and came across this one.  It's for a Lemonade cake and sounds real yummy.  I hope you like it.

Lemonade Party cake

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® lemon or yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 can (6 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 container Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white or fluffy lemon frosting
Yellow colored sugar, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool 15 minutes.
2. Mix lemonade concentrate and powdered sugar. Pierce top of warm cake every 1/2 inch with long-tined fork, wiping fork occasionally to reduce sticking. Drizzle lemonade mixture evenly over top of cake. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
3. Spread frosting over top of cake. Sprinkle with sugar. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):
 Follow High Altitude directions on cake mix box.


I guess that's about it for today.  Have a great day and I'll see you later.


Monday, March 12, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Meal

Top o' the morning to you!  St. Patrick's Day is coming up, so here are a few St. Paddy's Day dinner recipes.  I hope you find one to make.  I think it's fun to make a meal for a certain day.  Especially when you have young children.  What a great way to add another family tradition for your family.

                 Image Hosted by

 I made the slow cooker meal last year.  It was really good.  I'm not particularly fond of corned beef, but it was good.  The potatoes and cabbage were so yummy.  Speaking of the might want to pick up a bottle of beano and use that as an appetizer before eating this meal.

I also made some soda bread with our meal.  Although, to be perfectly honest...I used a package.  It's a dry bread, great for sopping up all that juice on your plate.  Mmm!
I haven't tried the Killarney cake recipe yet, but it sounds really good.  I may make it this year for the rest of the family.  Ugh, it is so hard to make desserts and then not eat them.  But I hate to deprive everyone else just because I'm restricting my own sugar intake.
Corned Beef Brisket with Cabbage
3 lb. corned beef brisket
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 medium head of cabbage, cored, cut into wedges
1 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1/2 cup KRAFT Pure Prepared Mustard
1 Tbsp. KRAFT Prepared Horseradish
PLACE meat in large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves and enough water just to cover all ingredients. Cover with lid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 1 hour. Drain, reserving meat in pan. Remove and discard bay leaves.
COVER meat with fresh water; cover with lid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer an additional 2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat from pan, reserving liquid in pan; place meat in shallow baking pan. Add cabbage to reserved liquid in pan; cook until tender. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Mix syrup, mustard and horseradish; spoon half of the syrup mixture over meat. Reserve remaining syrup mixture for brushing onto cooked meat.
BAKE 20 minutes or until meat is well glazed, brushing frequently with the remaining syrup mixture. Place meat on serving platter. Spoon pan drippings over meat. Serve with cabbage.
Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
The slow cooker is the perfect way to go for this traditional dish, since it must bubble away untended for hours, in any event. Be sure to serve with crusty bread, and Dijon mustard and horseradish on the side.
4 cups hot water
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 3-lb. corned beef round or brisket, packaged with spices
8 small white or yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 head of green cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cored and cut into 10 wedges
1. In a 6-quart electric slow cooker, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, pepper and onions, mixing well. Place the corned beef in the mixture. Scatter the potatoes over the top and along the sides.
2. Cover and cook on the High heat setting 4 hours. Remove the lid and scatter the cabbage wedges over the top. Cover and continue cooking on High 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the beef is tender. To serve, carve the beef into slices and serve with the cabbage and potatoes, with some of the cooking liquid spooned on top of the beef to keep it moist. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Corned Beef & Cabbage in Ale
Irish Ale and Stout Party:
Serves 4
2-3 pound cut of corned beef
24 ounces ale (Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale)
2 carrots, cut into chunks
12 small red potatoes
4 onions, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon dry mustard (Coleman's)
1 large sprig thyme (optional)
1 head cabbage, quartered
Place the beef in a large pot with the ale, carrots, potatoes, onions, mustard and thyme (if using). Add just enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer gently 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Halfway through, check the vegetables: when they are tender, remove them and set aside. Add the cabbage quarters and cook until tender, about 15 to 30 minutes. When the meat is tender, return all vegetables to the pot and reheat. Serve the meat in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and broth.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
1 3-pound corned beef brisket   
1/2 cup sliced onion (1 small)   
1 bay leaf   
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns   
3 cups water   
1 1-1/2-pound cabbage, cut into 6 wedges 
1. Trim any visible fat from the meat. Set aside.    
2. Place rack in a 4- to 6-quart pressure cooker. Add the meat, onion, bay leaf, black peppercorns, and water.    
3. Lock lid in place. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe (if you have a first-generation cooker). Over high heat, bring cooker up to pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain pressure and pressure regulator rocks gently; cook for 50 minutes.    
4. Allow pressure to come down naturally. Carefully remove lid. With a slotted spoon remove the meat and onions to a serving platter; set aside.    
5. Place the wedges of cabbage in the pressure cooker. Lock lid in place. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe (if you have a first-generation cooker). Over high heat, bring cooker up to pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain pressure and pressure regulator rocks gently; cook for 2 minutes.    
6. Quick-release the pressure. Carefully remove lid. With a slotted spoon remove the cabbage wedges. Serve with meat and onions. Makes 6 main-dish servings.  

Irish Soda Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour   
1 teaspoon baking powder   
1/2 teaspoon baking soda   
3 tablespoons margarine or butter   
1/4 cup raisins (optional)   
1 egg white, slightly beaten   
3/4 cup buttermilk   
Nonstick cooking spray   
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Cut in margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins, if desired. Make a well in the center of the mixture.    
2. In a small mixing bowl combine egg white and buttermilk. Add all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened.    
3. On a lightly floured surface knead dough 10 to 12 strokes until nearly smooth. Shape into a 7-inch round loaf.    
4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray Place bread dough on baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make 2 slashes in the top to form an X.    
5. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 1 loaf (16 servings).  
Killarney Cake

(1) package chocolate fudge cake mix
1/4-cup crème de menthe or 1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2-cup chopped green maraschino cherries
1 1/2-cups heavy cream
3-tbsp crème de menthe or 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and 2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4-cup whole green maraschino cherries
Chocolate curls

Prepare cake mix following package directions, substituting 1/4 cup crème de menthe for 1/4 cup water. Stir in chopped cherries. Pour into 2 greased 9-inch layer cake pans; bake as directed. Cool. Whip cream with tablespoons crème de menthe. Spread 1/3 of whipped cream between cake layers. Heap remaining whipped cream on top. Arrange whole cherries and chocolate curls over whipped cream.

Or you could make an adult

Tipsy Irish Whiskey Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow or chocolate cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla or French vanilla or chocolate pudding and pie-filling mix
3/4 cup Irish whiskey or bourbon, divided
1/2 cup cooking oil
4 jumbo or extra large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, 1/2 cup Irish whiskey, and oil, add eggs and beat at medium speed of an electric mixer for 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F) for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. When cake is almost done, prepare syrup.

Combine sugar, butter, water, and lemon juice in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil slowly, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup Irish whiskey or bourbon.

Turn cake out onto two large sheets of aluminum foil placed together to form the shape of a cross. Let cake cool for 10 minutes, top side up for tube cake and upside down for Bundt cake. Using a skewer or long bamboo pick, make holes all over top and sides of hot cake. Drizzle syrup very slowly over cake, being careful that too much does not run into any cracks on top of cake. Bring foil up around cake and wrap securely. Cake may be served when completely cool, or store in an airtight container overnight. Cake may be wrapped securely in foil and stored in the refrigerator for several weeks or in a freezer for up to six months.

If you have a recipe of your own that you make for the holiday, please share it with me.  I love trying new recipes.  As usual, if you try one of these here, please come back and share your thoughts on it. 

The really great thing about celebrating these holidays is getting the kids involved.  That's what I really like about the Killarney cake recipe.  It would be easy to let the kids help.  Especially with the icing since the recipe is so easy, and since it doesn't have to be iced all over or real smooth, the kids will have a blast decorating it and you don't have to worry what it looks like.

While the cake is baking you could give them some green construction paper and ask them to make some decorations or color some St Paddy's day placemats.  They'll really get into helping you out with these things and may surprise you with some of the ideas they come up with.

If your kids are a little older, old enough to use the computer, ask them to go online and see if they can find out where the tradition of St Patricks day comes from and then have them share the history of it with the whole family at the dinner table. 

Have a good day!

PS~ If you really can't stand corned beef and cabbage, you may want to substitute my cheating method of a St Paddy's day dinner.  What I used to make before I found a REAL recipe, lol.

Open a container of sauerkraut and pour it into the bottom of your crockpot, sprinkle a wee bit of sugar into it.  (a teaspoon or two, depending on how you like your sauerkraut).  Put a pork roast on top and top that with some peeled potatoes.  Turn on the crockpot and let it cook all day on low.  Viola!  When you get home from work you have a yummy pork roast dinner. 

I loved it, but Ray isn't a fan of sauerkraut so we do the corned beef dinner now.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Home remedy---burns

              Image Hosted by

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!


Burns can be caused by heat, hot liquids, strong chemicals, electricity and radiation. They are classified by the amount of body surface that has been burned, the burn degree, and their depth or thickness.
Evaluate the color of the burned skin.  If it is pink to red (like a sunburn), it is a 1st degree burn.  If it is entirely red, it is most likely a second degree burn.  If the skin is white, brown, yellow or black, it's considered a third degree burn.  Finally, blackened skin ranks as a fourth degree burn.
Assess the level of pain.  Both first and second degree burns cause pain.  With third and fourth degree burns, pain is generally absent because nerve cells have been damaged.
Look for blisters.  Second degree burns produce them, while the other 3 classifications do not result in blistering.
Examine the burn for eschar (the hard, leathery dead tissue that comes after a full-skin-thickness injury). Eschar is present in third- and fourth-degree burns.

Understand that first-degree burns require three to five days to heal, second-degree burns take two to six weeks to heal, and third- and fourth-degree burns take many weeks to months to heal. It may take three to five days before you can determine if a burn is second- or third-degree.
First degree burns can be treated at home.  Depending on the size of the burn you may want to seek treatment for a second degree burn.  ALWAYS seek medical help immediatly for third and fourth degree burns.  I know, seems silly to have to say that, but we've all heard of some folks who think they can take care of some pretty severe things at home.
Home remedies for minor burns
  • Skin will continue to burn until cold water or ice is applied, so always cool down the burn first. Ice is good for most burns, but severe burns can only tolerate cold water.
  • Colgate® Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns
  • Lavender Essential Oil relieves the pain and prevents scarring
  • Soak or coat affected area in egg white. While the egg white is still wet you will feel no pain from the burn. As soon as it dries up the pain comes back so reapplication is necessary.
  • Mix one or two teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate with a very small amount of water, just enough to make it into a smooth paste (not runny). Put the paste directly onto to burned area and leave it for some minutes. It will quickly make the pain subside. When it begins to dry out and fall off, replace it with fresh wet paste. Do this for at least 5 - 10 minutes or more, as required.
  • Place a potato on the burn
  • Place a tomato on the burn
Burn on your tongue
  • Put sugar on it!

I am finding out that I am such a creature of habit.  Throw me a wee lil' bit off my usual schedule (heck, I didn't even know I had any kind of schedule) and everything is all of a sudden way out of whack.  I hope to catch up on laundry and some house cleaning today while Rylie is still sleeping.

Take care and have a good day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cleaning chrome

Good morning!  Welcome to today's Cleaning tip.  I hope ya'll find it 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.
Vinegar: To clean chrome, wipe with a soft cloth dipped in undiluted white or cider vinegar.
Baby Oil:
Apply baby oil with a soft cloth and polish to remove stains from chrome trim on faucets, kitchen appliances, vehicles, etc.
Aluminum Foil:
Briskly scrub rust spots on car bumpers with a piece of crumpled aluminum foil, shiny side up. Also works well on the chrome shafts of golf clubs.
Chrome faucets:
are easily cleaned with soapy water. Rinse and wipe dry with a paper towel to restore luster. An old toothbrush helps get deposits of dirt out from under edges of faucet. For hard-to-remove spots, use silver polish, rinse, and wipe dry.
To remove rust from chrome: wipe it with aluminum foil dipped in Coke®. To polish chrome, use a crumbled up piece of aluminum foil and rub.
I'm sorry about the lack of entries lately.  My father-in-law is still in the hospital and we've been spending just about every day up there.  I don't want to sit here and give all his personal medical information out.  However, we may be looking at a serious operation here and I'm asking for your prayers again.  
Thank you for keeping the family in your prayers. 

Tags: , ,